SERP domination is a beautiful thing. Unlike world domination, it isn’t lusted after by cartoon villains and doesn’t require making tons of enemies along the way. Nope. All it takes is a great online presence and some strategic SEO work.
So, what is SERP domination? It’s when a search engine results page (SERP) is all you, or your small business. Every link, regardless of its type, on that results in page either links back to you or something (hopefully positive) about you. The easiest SERP domination situation to accomplish is when someone searches for your business name or the name of one of your products.
You may think that dominating a SERP for your brand name is no big deal, but imagine how high websites that post reviews and news rank. Working towards SERP domination for branded keywords can help bury any negative press or reviews your company has or may have in the future. You also don’t want to risk your competitors popping up on the first page.
Now, there are many aspects of a SERP, and the results listed are becoming increasingly diverse. For example, if a searcher is signed in to their Google account, results will be personalized to them. There may be as shown at the top and right side of the page. Image and video (especially from YouTube) may be pulled in, as can result from the news, shopping, and Google+.
It isn’t really possible to guarantee 100% that you’ll dominate any SERP, even for a search of your company’s name. That’s why you have to cover as many bases as possible. Here’s what you can start with:
1. Create and optimize social profiles
Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn all have extremely high rankings in search engines. Think about how many other URLs link to their domains, and how much traffic they get. While normally, a website’s high ranking can mean more competition for you, you can piggyback a social network’s domain authority pretty nicely. This means your profile on that network will likely rank highly, as well. Click here to read a series on social media optimization.
2. Use multimedia in your content
This is something you should be doing anyway since visuals keep readers engaged longer and helps them process the information faster, but it also has an added benefit for SERP domination. Uploading videos to YouTube (even if you use a different service to embed video to your own site) is important since Google owns YouTube and will give your YouTube videos special attention in search. As for images, make sure all images on your site are optimized with alt tags. This will improve the rankings of images on your site. The most important ones to pay attention to are your logos and heavily-branded images. Instead of just making the alt tag something like “logo,” make it “YOURBRANDNAME logo.”
3. Experiment with search ads
I know, you probably groaned at this one. Yes, paid advertising can be more expensive than methods that only cost you in time and tools. But you can’t deny that there’s value in online advertising, especially in search ads, since you’re grabbing the attention of someone when they’re already looking for something instead of when their happily browsing a website. On the plus side, bidding on branded keywords is usually pretty cheap and are a great insurance policy. Competitors can bid on your branded keywords and if you don’t as well, they could end up as the first link on a search for your company’s name!
4. Write press releases
While using press releases to get backlinks is now seen as spammy SEO, that doesn’t mean they hold no SEO value whatsoever. Just like social networks, press release distribution services like PRWeb, Cision, and PRNewswire hold high domain authority. If you publish a press release on one of those services, the original version of the release will rank high. While publishing press releases can be costly, if you have negative press or reviews on the first few pages of your brand’s results it can be worth it compared to any business you’re missing out on.
5. Be best friends with Google+
While links from all social networks rank well, obviously Google prioritizes results from its own network. There are two major things you should do to optimize your Google+ presence for organic search, besides building out your profile’s following and posting regularly. The first thing is easy: optimize your profile and include a lot of links in your ‘About’ section. This adds more content to your Google+ page and gives a rankings boost to the sites you link to. The second one is to link your website to your Google+ page. This makes you eligible for Direct Connect and the possibility of your page being included in Knowledge Graph.
If you’ve achieved SERP domination already, what tricks did you use? Share your tips of the trade in the comments!